Frenchie and the Corsican Airport

We just landed. Phones are on. Fingers flying and typing on the keys. Texts rushing out in a puff of electromagnetic interference. Aggressively making their way through the waves to give critical information: “Landed 43 sec. ago”. Wait, do we even have reception here? Texts did not go through. Resend. Resend. What is this place? The plane door opens letting in the yellow bright and blinding sun light inside the cabin. Sunglasses, quickly! Making our way through the aisle. Stepping out on the platform. 104 °F (40 °C) degrees, hot, oppressive, stifling, windy. Who’s going to collapse first from the heat? Hold on, we’re still on the tarmac! We have to walk to the airport? Welcome to Corsica!

Corsica is France’s Island of Beauty tucked away between the South of France and Tuscany – closer to Italy than France actually. Purchased secretly from The Republic of Genoa – now Italy – in 1764, it has been incorporated into France since 1770. It is one of those destinations the French keep secret by fear of attracting unwanted tourism and ruin the fun of being part of an exclusive paradise. Craggy mountains plunging directly into a deep blue sea, Corsica embodies this idea of an isolated beauty that a very small few will have the chance to explore once in their lifetime putting to shame any Caribbean island. In summer, tourists from all over the world flock to Corsica to experience this serenity people so often talk about when referring to the island – or as I like to call it “my Pearl of the Mediterranean”, shamelessly stealing the nickname from the city of Alexandria, Egypt. Really, no shame! Danish, Germans, Americans, French – of course – and lots of Italians among other nationalities get the pleasure every year to see, breathe and hear Corsica.

The Bastia airport ends up being a nice escape from the outside heat. A refreshing cool breeze makes us melt as we make our way to the one and only baggage claim. When I say cool breeze, it’s a French AC breeze – one of those that is still mildly furnace-warm but gives you a tiny sneak peek at what a midwinter night’s dream could feel like. How could I forget summers in France? And as we wait for the luggage, we get into the old argument (click here) as to why the French prefer sweat to a Yankee icy summer. Endless conversation.

The easy-going and relaxed atmosphere around us strangely sends flashes of airport memories from Hilo, on the big island of Hawaii, where life’s urgencies don’t matter any longer, tourists are happy to be in this paradisiac exclusive spot and your suitcase takes twice as long to come through on the carousel. And it’s just fine! That’s what Corsica is all about. Beauty and peace in a nonchalant jagged and rugged grandiose way.

Getting the car was easy. But what now? Where shall we go from here? What new adventures await us? What amazing food will we eat first? And most importantly, will nature be victorious over Frenchie and the Yankee? Follow the journey!

Text and pictures by Frenchie and the Yankee. © Frenchie and the Yankee